MAGPIE'S MUMBLINGS

A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Another page in the series

I finished another project yesterday but didn't have a chance to get a photo, so thought I'd share another in my series of snowflake/flower patterns.  


- You might enjoy having a peek at the crazy quilt creation HERE.  All I can say is wow!!  How I would love to be able to see this one in person.

- Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for another of her free online crazy quilt classes...ICQC-101 -'Design Plans & Block Piecing' and registration is only open until midnight July 30th.  Go HERE for further info.  

Today your quote is from Isaac Singer...."If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet"



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Another finished project

I spend most of my evenings with either knitting needles or crochet hooks in hand and this is the result of my latest efforts...


The colour here is not quite the same - the yarn is a lovely soft grey.

The sweater pattern is "Eyelet Stripe Jacket" designed by Bonnie Franz and comes from a book called "60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials".  The hat came from HERE, but I changed it somewhat to include the pattern stitch from the sweater so it would look like a set.

- There's a really cute pincushion pattern HERE - this one I'll be keeping on hand for future reference.

- For those of you who like tea (and especially the flavoured ones) and also like handmade soaps, perhaps you might find THIS interesting.  

Today your quote is from 'anonymous'..."A strong friendship doesn't need daily conversation or being together.  As long as the relationship lives in the heart, true friends never part"


Monday, July 25, 2016

A hodge podge of mumblings and stuff

The weekend has been yet more hot weather here, but at least we had a break in the middle of the night when we had a big thunderstorm and some rain.  The skies are still threatening and we're hopeful for more rain today.  Fingers crossed!!

I did some sewing over the weekend, but nothing that I can show you yet.  Should be able to finish what I'm working on this afternoon and will be able to show you tomorrow.  In the meantime...


Our balcony garden has produced these!
Yum!!  
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- I'm doing a great deal of wishful thinking on THESE.  Scroll down to the very bottom to see the finished pieces. There's a great how to, but I don't possess any of the necessary tools to create my own, but that doesn't stop me from just a teeny little bit of coveting!!

- For those of you who like to tat, there's a pretty free pattern HERE and if you want more patterns, there's a spot to sign up for that, as well as a number of other free patterns to be accessed through their sidebar.

- If you like cross stitch and are thinking of Christmas patterns, have a look at the ones HERE.  These would definitely make cute ornaments or package ties.

- There are a couple of interesting needlework contests happening at the moment and you can find out more about those by checking out the post HERE

- For some amazing fiber art, you might like to have a look at the work of THIS artist.
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Today your quote is from Mary Anne Radmacher...."Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow"



Friday, July 22, 2016

Hot, hot, hot

Too hot for celebrating such things as birthdays.  Too hot for stitching (which I never thought I would ever say!).  Just too hot.  34 degrees Celsius and high humidity....thank goodness there's at least a breeze.

We decided to get in the car (air conditioned) and go out of town and hit the fabric shop (air conditioned) and a couple of thrift stores (air conditioned) and have a nice birthday lunch (air conditioned).  As of this moment there's no rain in the forecast until at least Monday - hopefully it won't be a huge storm when this does break.  
At least I can say I got everything that was on my shopping list so that was a bonus.

So, because there's been no stitching and I really would like to try to think cool thoughts, I will give you some more snowflakes (or flowers - or seam treatments - your choice)....


Instead of your quote for today, I found this wonderful picture....


I don't know who to credit this to, but whoever it was - gotta love that dog!  He's definitely got the right idea.





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A surprise and more stitches for you

Today we were beyond surprised to have these delivered to our door...

Aren't they beautiful?

And, what's better?
They actually have a marvelous scent!

Here's another in my little series of snowflakes/flower motifs for you to use in your work....


Today your quote is from Kristin Armstrong...."I love the big fresh starts, the clean slates like birthdays and new years, but I also really like the idea that we can get up every morning and start over"



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Series continuation

Here's another in my little series of snowflakes/flowers, either motifs or seam treatment ideas...


For those of you who might be interested in embroidered monograms Mary Corbet has released a wonderful e-book that has 16 different versions and you can find more information about that HERE.  

If you like hats.... (I'm not one who does, but THIS pattern is cute!)

THIS lady does some really interesting fiber pieces that some of you might enjoy seeing.  

Today's quote is from Jean Shinoda Bolen...."When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life"


Monday, July 18, 2016

I'm never bored!

Today I'm going to show you something completely different than the 'norm' here, just to prove that I actually do other things than just crazy quilt all the time.  Yes, I know - who knew?

I was recently gifted (thank you!!) with some wonderful books written by Tone Finnanger containing patterns for making Tilda dolls.  After mulling over what I might create, this doll appeared in my life...


Her dress is made using a hankie for the overskirt and the underskirt is made from layers of lace.  She also has a lacy slip and underwear (for after all, what self-respecting doll wouldn't want proper underwear?).  She has red shoes (simply because I love red shoes...my name should have been 'Dorothy'!) and a crocheted hat.  

It's very hard to get a decent picture because she measures 24" tall.

If you aren't familiar with Tilda dolls, please google the name and you will find all sorts of wonderful examples all over the internet.  
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This morning I changed gears completely and put together some fake flowers into a 'saddle' to adorn my parents gravestone.  Every year I re-do this because the weather tends to fade the flowers.  Thank goodness for dollar store flowers!


A florist I am not!!
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A mumbling (or two)....

- Renee of 'Living My Dream' posted the results of her 'Third Annual Piggy Bank Savings' challenge spearheaded by 'Val's Quilting Studio' and there will be another one issued for the next year.  It's a great challenge and a fun way to save a little bit of money towards stash enhancement!  Go HERE to see Renee's post and HERE to read more about the challenge.  

- Further in the 'out of the norm' theme that's happening in this post, how about making yourself (or someone you love) some super decadent body butter from THIS recipe?  Maybe make a note of this one because THAT day in December will sneak up on you faster than you think and this would make wonderful gifts!

- There's a great post HERE about what to do when you hit a creative slump.  
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Today your quote is from Monica Johnson.... "Pray for someone else's child; your pastor; the military; the police officers; the firemen; the teachers; the government.  There's no end to the ways that you can intervene on behalf of others through prayer"



Friday, July 15, 2016

A new series

Today is the first of a new series I thought I'd share with you.  These are not seam treatments per se, but they can certainly be used as such simply by repeating them across your seam.  They can also be used as individual motifs representing either flowers or snowflakes.  You can add beads and use whatever threads you desire.  I would recommend using waste canvas for these.


Over the next few days I will share some more of these patterns.  Hope you find them of some use in your work.

- Karen of 'My Desert Cottage' is currently hosting the 'Where Bloggers Create' online party and it's a winner.  If you want to peek into all sorts of creative spaces (and maybe get some ideas to spruce up your own) go HERE for the list of participants and to see Karen's own creative space.  It's great fun to visit everyone!

- Yesterday I sent you to see some crochet patterns suitable for the current Pokemon rage and not to leave out the cross stitchers and knitters I have found some cross stitch ones HERE and some knitted ones HERE.  

- There are some really cool stitched botanicals on Ann Wood's site  HERE.  

All of us are horrified yet again by the totally senseless violence and loss of life that has occurred in France once again.  There are simply no words to express the sorrow that the whole world feels.  The quote today is a fitting one and is from Mahatma Gandhi...."Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong, but of the weak"



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Last one (at least for now!)

This is the last of the little seam treatments I have for you at present - perhaps later on I'll do a few more if you'd like me to.



This one is relatively simple and really doesn't need waste canvas as a base unless you choose to.
It began as gold metallic chevron stitches (red in diagram) with embroidery floss straight crossed stitches (blue in diagram) and a further straight stitch using blue metallic thread (green in diagram).

Should you want further information on the creation of the basic stitches I advise checking out the most excellent tutorials available from both Mary Corbet and Sharon Boggon.  There aren't too many stitches that these ladies haven't created great tutorials for.  If you would like to have a book by your side as you work, I can also recommend Judith Baker Montano's 'Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool' published by C& T Publishing.  Of course there are other books and other sites with great information, but these are the ones I go to time and time again.

In the next few days I will begin another little series that I hope you'll have fun with.

For some reason there's been an outpouring of all things 'Pokemon' around and about the internet lately.  Not my cuppa cawfee, but for those of you who might be interested, have a peek at the list of free crochet patterns HERE

I don't know about you but I am forever gunking up my iron and wondering how on earth I can clean it.  Well, there are some great ideas HERE!

Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for her online (and FREE!!) beginners crazy quilting class and you can read about it HERE, but you'd best hurry because she's only accepting sign ups until midnight tomorrow!  It's a great class so if you've been wanting to learn to crazy quilt, you might want to sign up.

And, for just plain eye candy, have a peek HERE.  

Today your quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt...."Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world"






Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Second last (at least for now)

This will be the second last seam treatment in this little series - perhaps I'll do some more for you at a later date.


This is one you definitely should use waste canvas to do so that you get the stitches even.  The whole thing is created with straight stitches (red in the diagram is done with DMC floss and the blue was done with gold metallic).  I had initially planned to add beads but when I finished the stitches I opted not to use them.  The choice would be up to you.

It was  mentioned in the comments yesterday that they didn't like using waste canvas and I  understand that.  It does require a certain degree of patience.  My helpful hint with waste canvas is to pull the short threads first - and only one at a time.  Trying to hasten the removal by pulling at more than one thread will definitely lead to distortion of your stitching AND a huge amount of frustration.  If you find that a canvas thread you're trying to remove seems to be 'stuck', try pulling it from the other side.  

I have another little series planned that will start later this week, so you'll have to stay tuned for that.

There is a marvelous video on you tube that's making the rounds and if you happen to be a fan of Leonard Cohen's song 'Hallelujah' you might want to spend a few minutes being blown away by THIS.  Spellbinding!!

Today it's very hot and I'm  glad that I am able to stay inside with a couple of fans going and not be out in the humidity.  Stitching and spending time on the computer, iced coffee close at hand, is the best way to spend the day.

Today your quote is from William Shakespeare...."Love sought is good, but given unsought is better"






Tuesday, July 12, 2016

and another one


This one is probably best done using waste canvas in order to keep your cross stitches even.

It's also fairly self-explanatory - three rows of cross stitch (DMC floss); straight stitches (gold metallic) and blue and white beads.  At the last minute I decided to add the row of bead trim at the top.  

Hot here today, so not moving too far.  That's not to say that I'm not still wielding a needle and thread!

Today your quote is from Ray Bradbury:  "Bees do have a smell you know, if if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers"


Monday, July 11, 2016

Another seam treatment

Here's another in the little seam treatment series...



This one is fairly simple...a row of chain stitches (red in diagram); followed by the glass sequins (circle in diagram) and straight stitches in silver metallic thread (green in diagram) and gold metallic beads.

Just a couple of mumblings for today....

1.  If you're a knitter, perhaps you'd be interested in 25 tips to improve your knitting skills that can be found HERE.  

2. If your sewing machine occasionally  pitches a fit and decides to make an incredibly complicated birds' nest of thread on the back, you will find this of value.

Instead of my normal quote, I thought I'd share this....


Amen.


Friday, July 08, 2016

Announcement (and a little extra)

First of all, I want to let you know that the staff of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine have just announced their new crazy quilt calendar contest for 2017!!  I know, it seems early, but we want you to have lots of time to create your entries.  This year the theme is 'Musicals' which leaves lots of room for creative interpretation.  I'm the lucky one to get to see your entries first (yay!!) and I can't wait.  
Here are the guidelines...




And here is a list of possibilities you
might like to consider as jumping off points
for your creations (of course there are many
more out there - these are just a few suggestions)...



Today I will give you a little break from the seam treatment series and show you a piece of knitting I just finished.  This is a wee blankie for our expected grandbaby who is due to arrive around the first of September.




The pattern is a free one found on the Bernat site called 'Softee Baby Knit Baby Blanket'

Pattern can be found HERE.




As a wee note (mainly to myself for future makings of this pattern)...I think I would add perhaps add a few more rows between the 'pattern' rows.  As the pattern is written it calls for 5 rows with the 6th row being the pattern and I'd like to widen that a little.

Today the quote is from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...."Sometimes people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, "Oh, I wish I could knit, but I'm just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that."  How can knitting be wasting time?  First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch.  Second, you aren't wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.  I will remember that not everyone understands.  I will resist the urge to ask others what they do when they watch TV"



Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Here's another one

I know - just don't crack your jaw with all that yawning you're doing!  Sorry to say that for right this moment, this is all you're going to get from Chez Magpie (altho' I'm hopeful for something a little different to show you later this week).  For now, here's another seam treatment...




This seam began with a row of embroidery floss chevron stitches (green in the diagram), followed with a row of cretan stitches (red in the diagram) done with metallic blue thread.  I then added straight stitch 'V' shapes at the top (and bottom) of the stitches (metallic silver on the cretan stitches and metallic blue on the chevrons).  Then I added lazy daisy stitches with metallic silver and also the gold beads to finish off the treatment.

A few mumblings for you....

1.  Pam Kellogg has released a sneak peek of the cover for the autumn issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine...


Release date is Aug. 1st

2.  For those of you who tat, there's a beautiful free pattern available HERE. While you're there, be sure to check out her 'tutorials' and 'free patterns' sections on her blog.

3.  For those of you who might be interested in picking up any of Kathy Shaw's books at a good price, she's having a sale and you can find more information HERE

Today your quote is from John Lubboce... "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means a waste of time"




Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Another one!

Here's another seam treatment for you to play with...


This little motif works well as a seam treatment and also can be used on its own as a little flower or a snowflake.

I used embroidery floss (red on diagram) and metallic gold (blue on diagram).  Gold bead in the center.


Today your quote is from T.D. Jakes.... "If you can't figure out your purpose, find out your passion.  For your passion will lead you right into your purpose"





Monday, July 04, 2016

It seems like there's another seam


This is another of the seam treatments I've been
doing...






I worked this using blue metallic thread (red in the diagram) and added rice pearl beads (green in the diagram). 




- there's a cute little sailboat cross stitch pattern available HERE  It's shown as a plastic canvas project, but there's no reason we can't use it for cross stitch too.

- and for sheer amazingly beautiful stitching have a look at what Shirlee has posted HERE.  Wow!!

- and I want to extend happy 4th of July wishes to my friends in the US.  Hope your day is/was wonderful!  It's a big weekend all around, because our Canada Day was on the 1st.

And finally, your quote for today is from Idowu Koyenikan.... "Your pride for your country should not come after your country becomes great; your country becomes great because of your pride in it"



Friday, July 01, 2016

Best of intentions!

I really did have the best of intentions to get this post up much earlier today...however...I just turned the computer on to do that very thing and the power went out.  After more than four hours it's finally back on.

So...


HAPPY CANADA DAY!

And, as a continuation of the seam treatment series, here's another one..


(oops - sorry about the red thread!)



Today the quote is from Madeleine L'Engle...."The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been"  Happy birthday Canada!